Archives For App Throwdown

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

Jeff Bickart provides the architectural, technical direction and delivery for the solutions being developed for NEPO Systems. Prior to joining NEPO, Mr. Bickart was the Director of the Advanced Technology Group for TerreStar Networks, Inc., providing advanced application prototypes and proof of concepts for their services. His responsibilities included the Web 2.0 software development both for browser based solutions and mobile solutions. Mr. Bickart previously was the Director of Engineering for Visitar, Inc., a provider of SugarCRM and telecommunications solutions hosted in a SaaS environment. He has also held various engineering positions with Sun Microsystems. Mr. Bickart holds a B.S. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. from George Mason University. You can read his blog at sugarcrm-dev.blogspot.com

NEPO Systems is a SugarCRM Gold Partner that provides premium hosting, support and module development for SugarCRM. Supporting commercial and Federal clients across the globe, NEPO Systems helps our customers with strategic Sugar consultation, implementation and maintenance that are aligned with the unique requirements and business objectives of each of our clients. We deliver high-quality, integrated solutions for traditional Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation and Customer Support, as well as a variety of custom solutions utilizing the powerful SugarCRM framework.

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

Based on an initial client request, NEPO developed an integration with a popular SaaS time tracking application (Harvest), which has since been deployed in multiple Sugar instances (including our own). This simple, yet powerful integration can help professional service organizations more effectively track their employees time, manage billing and ensure that contractual obligations and SLA’s are being met. Our demonstration will show how companies can keep track of an employee’s time and generate invoices for their customers without ever leaving the Sugar environment.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?

Our application isn’t designed to demonstrate a specific uniqueness in its function, but rather to show off the flexibility and ease of the Sugar framework and the power of a real business application. This integration was developed within a couple days time and demonstrates the power that can be obtained by integrating two cloud-based applications.  This application is a powerful tool whose business is to provide professional services to its customers by helping companies to better manage time, costs, service contracts & SLA’s and billing, all directly from within Sugar.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

The takeaway should be twofold. First, that companies who manage professional services organizations and need the ability to more effectively manage their employees time (for whatever reason), recognize that there is a best-of-breed integration that exists in the market today. And second, that Sugar should be viewed as a flexible platform that can be leveraged well-beyond the traditional CRM functions (e.g., “this is not your fathers CRM”).

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

We believe that this is a great venue for showcasing what a powerful tool SugarCRM can be for all different types of companies and users. Hopefully these brief 3-minute “demos” will help other Sugar users spark some creativity on how of how they can improve their own business processes and more deeply embed Sugar within their organizations.

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

We are looking forward seeing the Callinize application and its direct integration into a smartphone is a killer concept.

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

Blake Robertson is an avid member of the SugarCRM Developer community.   Blake Robertson started developing SugarCRM addons for the needs of his company Alertus Technologies for which Blake is the CTO and cofounder.  When he’s not developing next generation mass notification hardware/software, he enjoys working on open source projects. Most notably, he maintains YAAI an open source telephony integration between SugarCRM and Asterisk. Blake presented YAAI at the 2012 SugarCon AppThrowdown.  Since then, it’s become SugarCRM’s most widely deployed Telephony integration.

Callinize integrates your phone system and your CRM revolutionizing the way you’ll make and take calls.  Know exactly who’s calling before you pick up the phone.  Make calls without typing in digits and leave call notes without having to first search for the contact.  Where most CTI solutions are designed for Call Centers, Callinize is designed for SMBs.  Features such as our google chat inspired call note taker and smartphone apps bring the power of a call center to everyone..

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

I’m going to be presenting the most exciting and novel features of Callinize.

How often do you receive a call and have NO idea who it is? We all have. Callinize solves this problem. Callinize is an app that connects to your company’s CRM, pulls important customer information, and displays this information for all incoming calls on your mobile phone. During the call you can launch into our app that displays more actionable information and the ability to save notes.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem? 

It’s the first CRM Telephony integration which works on a mobile phone.   CRM Telephony integrations have been primarily utilized by “Call Centers” or forward thinking companies that want to improve company productivity.  One of the biggest limitations of traditional telephony integrations is you had to be tethered to your desk / in front of your computer.  People just don’t work that way anymore! We’ve traded being tethered to our desk to being tethered to our mobile phone. Fortunately, the power of a call center now fits in the convenience of your pocket.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

I hope that next time they get a call on their mobile phone and don’t recognize the number they’ll think of Callinize.  We bring the abundance of information in your CRM to your finger tips wherever you are.

And for those struggling to get CRM adoption throughout their company… if you provide your employees with tools like Callinize which take the chore out of getting information into and out of the system, your adoption will happen much more naturally.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

Last year I presented yaai, the open source telephony integration, which is the foundation of Callinize.  The AppThrowdown really launched yaai’s userbase which in turn has attracted a community of developers from around the world.  Most notably, I met Callinize’s co founder, Patrick Hogan, right after my presentation at sugarcon.  We’ve been working together ever since and we wouldn’t be in this years AppThrowdown if it wasn’t for him. Looking forward to meeting other people to collaborate with and launching Callinize!

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

I’m definitely interested in the harvest integration the campaign improvements!  Campaigns continue to be a pain point in my company.  It’s too hard for a sales person to use.

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

Brian Reale is the Co-founder and CEO of Colosa.  Prior to founding Colosa in 2000, Brian co-founded Unete Telecomunicaciones (www.unete.bo), a long distance voice and data carrier in South America that Mr. Reale founded in 1997 and sold in 2000 to IFX Networks.   Brian also co-founded the company Spotless in 2006, an entertainment technology company where Mr. Reale continues as an outside Director.

Brian graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1993 and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in linguistics in Ecuador in 1994.

Colosa is the developer of ProcessMaker, a leading open source Workflow and BPM software suite that makes it simple for companies to automate form-based approval driven processes and interconnect existing company systems. Colosa is headquartered in New York and has a partner network spread across 30 countries and on five continents. Hundreds of commercial customers including several Fortune 100 companies rely on ProcessMaker to run their processes. ProcessMaker is available in 17 different languages and our open source version has been downloaded over 500,000 times.

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

At SugarCon 2013 we will be introducing Colosa’s latest solution, ProcessMaker – SugarCRM Edition.  For the SugarCRM Edition of our ProcessMaker Business Process Management software, we rebuilt our software from the ground up as a SugarCRM loadable module.   This new product functions entirely in SugarCRM and consists of a full BPMN 2.0 process designer and an ultrafast workflow engine.  It will allow companies to visually design their workflows that force users to get approvals for certain types of actions such as giving a price discount or changing a contract template.  It can also be applied to complex lead assignment and routing.

At the throwdown, we will create a workflow in less than a minute by dragging and dropping icons onto the canvas.  We will then execute the workflow by routing the request from one user to the next in order to get an approval.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?

BPM + CRM is a very powerful combination, and it makes SugarCRM significantly more competitive for large enterprise applications.   Large SugarCRM enterprise customers often have a requirement where they need to ensure that users perform a process the same way every time or they want to require users to get certain types of approvals before performing certain actions in SugarCRM   Imagine a scenario where a client wants a sales person to get a manager’s approval anytime the sales person wants to close an opportunity with a discount of greater than 15%.  Today, there is no way in SugarCRM to enforce this type of approval process.  With the addition of the ProcessMaker BPM Module we can now visually create this process, automatically route the record to a manager when discount > 15% and then lock the record from certain edits until it is approved by the manager. This is just one example of  the power of BPM when added to CRM.

Now just think of SugarCRM partners and customers today that are building major platforms such as Call Centers, Automotive Management Applications, Medical Records Management Systems, E-Government platforms and more on SugarCRM.  All of these applications today require lots of programming of complex workflow rules and logic hooks.  With a visual BPM designer and workflow engine inside Sugar, this work becomes orders of magnitude easier.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

The ProcessMaker BPM designer and engine that we are offering for SugarCRM opens up a world of new Enterprise opportunities for SugarCRM.  With ProcessMaker SugarCRM now has a full BPMN designer and engine which puts SugarCRM ahead of other CRMs that have historically beat Sugar when it comes to better process power such as Pegasystems, BPMOnline, and SalesForce – all of which have BPM engines and designers in their products.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

SugarCRM is riding a great wave of success these days.  You’ve got some great top leadership, lots of momentum, and lots of buzz.  The Throwdownn is a way for us to both help generate more excitement and be part of the excitement.  We are specifically interested in showing that with our application SugarCRM can pick up more and bigger wins in enterprise applications.

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

I like Callinize from  Alertus Technologies because it looked easy to understand and certainly seems to be useful for sales people that spend a lot of time on the road and on their cellphones.

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing ):

W-Systems is a SugarCRM Gold Partner covering the metro New York market space.    We have a strong development practice and enjoy the freedom offered to us to create solutions for our customers using the SugarCRM open source toolkit.  We have subject matter expertise in Financial Services, Real Estate, Publishing, Professional Services and Manufacturing industries.

Christian Wettre is the president of W-Systems and will be presenting the solution with Ionut Tonita who is a lead developer.

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

We are presenting a module for SugarCRM that allows any user to quickly communicate unique or templated messages to selections of Contacts, Leads or Targets.  We automate the creation of fully trackable email campaigns in SugarCRM.

Our solution makes sending a mass communication message as easy as sending an individual email.  Our application works in the background to do all the work of setting up a campaign, organizing target lists, creating tracking URL’s, saving email templates and queuing up email.

The user gets a full email marketing package with delivery and interaction tracking that is easy to use and requires minimal training.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?

Our application for Sugar extends out powerful communication capabilities to every Sugar user where otherwise marketing campaign execution has required the skills of trained marketers.   We take a fairly complex workflow in SugarCRM and simplify it to the extreme.   We open up email campaign management to the general user population without the need for third party toolsets.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?

We hope that the audience will see that a partner and professional developer can take the SugarCRM package and add new functionality that fits seamlessly into the platform.  This is the promise of SugarCRM and it is the reward to those who invest in it.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

The exposure to a large audience is rewarding.  We all take pride in what we are doing and is exciting to present it to the community and to our peers.  A little friendly competition and idea sharing is motivating to all of us.

Most of our solutions are only known by ourselves and to our customers. It is fun to showcase our work to a broader audience.. We look forward to receive feedback and critique.  With an open ecosystem such as SugarCRM we are looking to contribute our ideas and code to the community.  Sharing is good for the SugarCRM product, customers and partners.

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

We are admirers of Epicom’s work.  They put out very elegant solutions for SugarCRM so we look forward to seeing their FedEx integration. Blake Robertson’s Callinize application looks like a universally useful mobile application that I would like to use myself.

scon13We are thrilled to announce the participants for this year’s Sugar App Throwdown, taking place at SugarCon 2013 in New York on April 10th. We had dozens of submissions come in across our VAR and ISV partner network, along with several coming from many third party developers and longtime community members. Narrowing it down to 6 contestants in the end wasn’t easy, but we think the final list is definitely an impressive one.

Without further ado, here’s this year’s participants:

We are really excited to see such a diverse group of contestants this year. Look to hear more about them in the coming weeks leading up to SugarCon, as we will be publishing interviews we are doing with them. And if you haven’t signed up for SugarCon 2013 yet, do so now to see this along with some of the best and brightest minds in CRM and technology alongside top vendors and partners.

Back Camera

If you were at SugarCon 2012 last spring, you’ll remember one of the exciting new events we added to the schedule, the inaugural Sugar App Throwdown. It pitted six of the most interesting and innovative applications in the Sugar ecosystem today against each other in front of the SugarCon audience of customers, partners, and prospects. All of the participants – participants, judges and hosts – are pictured above. It was a huge success and a crowd favorite, so we’re bringing it back with us to the 2013 event in New York in April as well, and we are looking for a new group of apps to be a part of it.

Last year, six partners shared their apps – Alertus, Contactually, Epicom, EasyAsk, NextPrinciples and ActivePrime. They presented their applications in a fast, freewheeling session.

We are looking for that killer application, that beautiful mix of the Sugar platform with an emerging business tool, or even how you took Sugar to the next level to showcase the flexibility of the platform. We want the best of the best again here, all for the chance to get your application in front of the largest CRM-focused conference crowd in history. If you think you have what it takes, submit your idea to us today.

–John Mertic